“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, but in this instance it is sugar we are talking about not roses. What I think Shakespeare was getting at was, that it matters what (or who) something is not what it is called.
This seems so very appropriate when talking about sugar. There are so many names for sugar. Some of them are delightfully exotic sounding and pretty. Here are some:
Please don’t get me wrong. Anyone who reads my blog will know that I use all of these. I love them. But I also use caster sugar, brown sugar (dark and soft) and icing sugar. The reason I like using all kinds of different sugars is that they all lend different flavours to what you are cooking. I love the flavour of maple syrup, I love the caramelly taste of coconut sugar but I also love the dark fudginess of brown sugar. I like using syrups, arguably often because I am lazy and they can be a quicker way of adding sweetness but mostly I think I love the sheer versatility on offer with all these different sugars.
I think the trouble can start with sugar when we are led to believe that these sugars aren’t really sugars. Believing that, is a bit like believing that calories eaten alone don’t count or that the tooth fairy really exists. (sorry – she does really…)
I don’t like using these sugars because they are miraculously “healthy” or “guilt free” – although I definitely fell for the hype at the beginning. I definitely thought they were a miracle cure to the evils of sugar, but I’ve learnt a lot since then. Now when I indulge and eat cookies for breakfast, which I do on occasion because I am human – it’s okay because I do it in the full knowledge of what I am eating and I can balance that out throughout the day or the rest of the week. The trouble comes when you gorge on sugary treats full of maple sugar (for example) and believe them to be calorie free.
I like using all these sugars as I just like mixing it up when it comes to cooking and eating for that matter. Some may be arguably slightly better for you than refined sugar but I am yet to read any really convincing evidence on this front (please by all means wing it my way, I am always open to reading more on all these things). Some have a slightly lower Glycaemic Index than others but from what I have read it seems to be negligible.
Cook with these sugars because it’s fun and they are delicious, but cookies or cakes or anything made with them should be looked at the same way as regular cakes and cookies.
I know that isn’t what lots of people want to hear but I’m afraid it’s the truth. It’s also true of lots of the “healthy” foods being sold to us in shops. Be careful! An innocent looking energy ball (you know the ones) actually have the same amount of sugar in as a Kit Kat. Scary but true.
I know this wont be news to lots of you, so sorry if I am teaching my Granny to suck eggs (whatever that saying really means) but for those of you who find the whole sugar thing a bit confusing I hope this helps to straighten things out a bit in your mind.
Sugar is a confusing old thing, but man is it delicious and my goodness does it make life a bit sweeter.
As always comments are welcome, all views are merely my own humble take on things. I love having opinions and I love hearing yours too!